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Preview: The Little Professor

The Little Professor

Things Victorian and academic.

Published: 2017-08-21T20:43:54-04:00


Mill's Inaugural Address and the Contemporary University (Or Not)


Below are some provisional thoughts I'm still working through about attempts to transplant John Stuart Mill to the contemporary university system. As a Victorianist (albeit not a philosopher), I'm always a bit cautious about using nineteenth-century thinkers to solve or...

This Week's Acquisitions


Julian Barnes, The Noise of Time (Vintage, 2017). Historical novel tracing the experiences of the composer Shostakovich as he deals with the conflict between art and crushing political pressures. (Lift Bridge)

This Week's Acquisitions


Benjamin Black, Wolf on a String (Henry Holt, 2017). John Banville writing under his mystery novelist pseudonym. At the end of the sixteenth century, a man undertakes a murder investigation for Rudolf II. (Lift Bridge) Marie-Luise Kohlke and Christian Gutleben,...

Friday Cat Blogging


For some reason, the cats have all been snoozing in the bathroom lately. This does make it somewhat difficult to get to the sink.

Stumpingford: A Tale of the Protestant Alliance; Jonah, and La Salette


My readers were no doubt waiting with bated breath to hear whether or not Daniel Parsons' Stumpingford (1854), newly rediscovered (in somebody's attic, presumably), would revolutionize our understanding of nineteenth-century British religious fiction--Catholic fiction, in particular. And the answer is......

This Week's Month's Acquisitions


(Rather fewer than usual this time around.) Daniel Parsons, Stumpingford: A Tale of the Protestant Alliance; Jonah, and La Salette (Thomas Richardson, 1854). Satirical tale about anti-Catholic activity in a small town. Previously featured here because it apparently no longer...

Brief note: not so different


I've spent a fair amount of time here noting that Catholic and Protestant novels tended to take noticeably different paths--in terms of narrative structure and expected outcomes, in particular--but it can be just as interesting to note which authors managed...

Some thoughts on the "unreadability" of Victorian religious fiction


My last post was about a novel that was well-nigh unreadable. By which I mean that, while I certainly read it, it was with a constant aggravated awareness that this novel violated pretty much any principle of formal coherence, aesthetic...

The Irish Priest; Or, What for Ireland?


There are some novels so poorly written and constructed that the critic winds up trying to argue that, surely, the failure must be intentional in some fashion. Take, for example, The Irish Priest; Or, What for Ireland? (1847), a rare...

Still Life with Artificial Plant and Cat


Title: Still Life with Artificial Plant and Cat. Materials: Cat (Amigo, age four); artificial plant; tablecloth; table. Commentary: In this deconstruction of the relations between artifice and nature, human and animal, object and living creature, the cat's own artistic agency...

This (Last) Week's Acquisitions


(A bit behind here.) Jane Austen, Teenage Writings, ed. Kathryn Sutherland (Oxford, 2017). New edition of Austen's juvenilia. (Free copy) Elizabeth Hamilton, The Cottagers of Glenburnie, and Other Educational Writing, ed. Pam Perkins (Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2010). New...

This Week's Acquisitions


(So, er, I did go to the Strand.) Leo Braudy, Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural Worlds (Yale, 2016). Historical analysis of how horror emerges and functions at moments of spiritual and...

Rowland Hill's Village Dialogues


Rowland Hill's enormously popular (and enormously long) Village Dialogues (1801; republished frequently thereafter) is notable, as Adrian J. Wallbank argues, for its "eclectic assortment of residual literary techniques and strategies of the type associated with eighteenth-century didacticism, catechetical guidance, parables,...

My contributions to the tiny house movement (so to speak)


There are times when you just need to make something that has nothing to do with your academic career. Start to finish time was eight months (October 2016-May 2017). About two months of that was actually tiling and painting the...

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street


This past week, I took my spring break trip to New York City...that is, the spring break trip I would have taken to New York City during my actual spring break, except that we were buried under a blizzard. In...